The following Web sites provide information about volunteer opportunities and other ways you can directly participate in population and environmental issues.
United Nations Volunteers
Close to 5,000 people of 150 nationalities serve each year as UN Volunteers. Recent projects have included registering voters in Afghanistan and helping repatriate refugees in war-torn African countries. On this page, select a specific country or issue for information about volunteer opportunities.
United Nations Association of the United States of America
UNA-USA, founded in 1943 by Eleanor Roosevelt, offers Americans the opportunity to connect with issues confronted by the U.N., from global health and human rights to the spread of democracy and international justice. On this site, learn about the popular Model United Nations program, which teaches young people what it's like to be a delegate to the U.N., and other UNA-USA initiatives.
Kid to Kid
A project of the Children's Hunger Relief Fund, Kid to Kid gives children ideas about how they can raise funds to help less fortunate children through garage sales, walk-a-thons, talent shows, and more. Through the Kid's Katalog, children can then direct their donations towards purchasing food, school supplies, toys, medicine, or vaccines for children living in poverty.
The Population Institute: Issues and Legislation
The Population Institute, based in Washington, D.C., is an international organization seeking to reduce population growth. This page describes population-related legislation under consideration by the U.S. Congress and includes information on how American citizens can contact their representatives directly.
Global Action Network
A virtual gathering place for those passionate about global population and reproductive-health issues, this Web site provides a wealth of information and offers mentoring for those considering a career in population-related fields.
34 Million Friends of UNFPA
This grassroots action site seeks to raise $34 million in support of the United Nations Population Fund and raise awareness of recent U.S. withdrawal of support. Visitors to the site can download an action kit that includes flyers to print and hand out and suggestions on hosting neighborhood or campus events.
Safe Motherhood Initiative
The Safe Motherhood Initiative is a worldwide effort that aims to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses associated with pregnancy and childbirth. This page lists many ways in which concerned citizens and healthcare professionals can help.
Bread for the World
This nationwide Christian citizens movement seeks social justice and the end of hunger. The How to Help page contains sections on organizing church, neighborhood, or campus groups to heighten awareness of hunger through can drives, walk-a-thons, and demonstrations.
Environmental Defense: Action Center
Keep abreast with the latest environmental issues at stake in Washington, D.C. with this action Web site from Environmental Defense. With a few clicks of the mouse, American citizens can tell their representatives where they stand on global warming, air pollution, and other issues.
Earth Island Institute Projects
Based in San Francisco, Earth Island Institute provides centralized administrative support for more than 30 grassroots projects designed to promote conservation, preservation, and restoration of our natural and cultural resources. Browse this site to see if you'd like to help out with an existing project or find the tools to start your own.
Global Health Council: Action Network
The Global Health Council seeks volunteers to educate the public and elected officials about health issues like AIDS, infant mortality, and reproductive health. Join the Global Health Council Action Network to receive the training and tools needed to communicate effectively with your elected representative, write an op-ed article, form a local chapter, or become a district coordinator.
Since 1961, more than 170,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have been invited by 136 host countries to work on a variety of issues, including AIDS education, information technology, and environmental preservation. Personal essays, photo galleries, and video clips illustrate what it's like to work for the ultimate volunteer program.
CARE Corps Volunteer Program
Founded in 1945 to provide relief to survivors of World War II, CARE is a private international humanitarian organization. The CARE Corps offers volunteers the chance to work at the grassroots level in impoverished parts of Peru and Guatemala.
Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders (or Médecins Sans Frontières) delivers emergency aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters, and to others who lack health care due to social or geographical isolation. They seek volunteers both with and without medical experience to provide emergency care as well as to help establish programs to combat chronic diseases, malnutrition, and mental illness.
Feed the Children
This Christian organization collects and distributes food, medicine, clothing, and other necessities to needy families in the United States and around the world. Find out how you can participate through donations or as a medical team volunteer.
The Nature Conservancy
Approximately one million members strong, The Nature Conservancy works across the globe with volunteers, scientists, and other experts to preserve threatened natural environments. Visit the Conservancy's Web site to become a member, plan an eco-vacation, adopt an acre, and more.
National Wildlife Federation
Through hands-on conservation education and action opportunities, the National Wildlife Federation offers a chance to help protect wildlife and habitats in the United States. Project locations include Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Florida's Everglades.
Note: Opinions expressed by the organizations above do not necessarily reflect those of NOVA.